Thai Red Cross Society
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|International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies|
|THB 5,110,829,700 (2014)|
The Thai Red Cross Society (Thai: สภากาชาดไทย; rtgs: Sapha Ka Chat Thai) is a major humanitarian organisation in Thailand, providing services as part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The society was founded in 1893 and is headquartered in Bangkok. It is governed by the Act on Thai Red Cross Society, Buddhist Era 2461 (1918), and is supervised by the Council of Ministers. Its expenses are borne by the government. Its president is appointed by the king upon advice and consent of the council of ministers. The current president is Queen Sirikit who has held the position since 12 August 1956.
The origin of the Thai Red Cross Society dates to the Franco–Siamese territorial dispute of 1893 in which no organised aid was available to assist military casualties. Lady Plien Pasakornravongs assembled a group of female volunteers and asked Queen Savang Vadhana for royal permission to establish a humanitarian organisation. Permission was granted by King Chulalongkorn, who also granted permission to raise initial funding, 443,716 baht. The society, then known as the Red Unalom Society (สภาอุณาโลมแดง), was founded on 26 April 1893, with Queen Savang Vadhana as maternal patron. Queen Saovabha was appointed the first president, and Lady Plien acted as the society secretary.
The society's name was later changed to the Siam Red Cross Society and, following the renaming of the country, the Thai Red Cross Society. The society was officially recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross on 27 May 1920, and membership in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (then the League of Red Cross Societies) was granted on 8 April 1921.
Following the statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Thai Red Cross Society provides humanitarian aid and relief services in times of war and disaster, which is handled by its Relief and Public Health Bureau. The bureau offers public health services in remote areas of the country. The society also provides other medical and charitable services.
The Thai Red Cross Society operates the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, with 1,479 beds, one of the largest hospitals in the country, and Queen Sawangvatana Memorial Hospital, a 500-bed general hospital in Sri Racha. The Red Cross Rehabilitation Centre in Samut Prakan Province, provides physical medicine and rehabilitation services for long-term patients.
Blood donation services provided by the National Blood Centre are one of the society's most visible activities. Founded in 1952, the centre collects, processes, and provides blood and blood components to hospitals in Bangkok and nationwide through 147 regional chapters.
The Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre began operation in 1994 and is the sole national coordinator of organ donations. The Thai Red Cross Eye Bank, in operation since 1965, provides eye tissue for corneal transplantation, and has 10 regional offices.
The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre offers HIV testing and counseling services through its Anonymous Clinic, and runs education and awareness campaigns to battle the spread of the epidemic and better the lives of those living with HIV. The centre conducts research on HIV and clinical interventions under HIV-NAT and SEARCH units, and offers many services to help those living with HIV.
Vaccines and rabies prevention
Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute produces BCG and rabies vaccines and snake antivenins for national distribution. The institute provides rabies prevention and immunisation services. Its snake farm is open to visitors and tourists, providing education in addition to its research activities.
The Thai Red Cross College of Nursing is one of the country's major professional nurse training centres. King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital serves as the teaching hospital for both the college and also the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine.
The Thai Red Cross Children's Home takes care of abandoned children at King Chulalongkorn and Queen Sawangvatana Memorial Hospitals, and attempts to reunite the families or provide the children with suitable adoptive homes.
- พระราชบัญญัติงบประมาณรายจ่ายประจำปีงบประมาณ พ.ศ. 2557 [Annual Expenditure Budget Act, BE 2557 (2014)] (pdf). Government Gazette (in Thai). Bangkok: Cabinet Secretariat. 130 (93 A): 1. 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
- ประกาศตั้งสภานายิกาสภากาชาดไทย ลงวันที่ ๑๒ สิงหาคม ๒๔๙๙ [Proclamation on Appointment of President of Thai Red Cross Society dated 12 August 1956] (pdf). Government Gazette (in Thai). Bangkok: Cabinet Secretariat. 73 (66 A): 957. 1956-08-21. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- The Thai Red Cross Society official web site. Retrieved on 15 March 2008.
- The Thai Red Cross Society web site at the Golden Jubilee Network project. Retrieved on 15 March 2008.